Celebrating 25 years of success

Nigel Leivers
Nigel Leivers

Established 25 years ago in Derby by Paul Brighouse, Frame Fast is now said to be one of the largest trade manufacturers in the East Midlands. Glass Times sits down with managing director, Nigel Leivers.

Q: How did you get into the glazing industry?

Nigel Leivers (NL): When I left school I was all set for a career as a footballer, but a bad injury put a stop to that, so I ended up qualifying as a plumber and bricklayer. However, I quickly realised that I had no interest in either of those so instead went into sales.

My brother-in-law at the time worked for Prudential and he said to me, if you want to get into sales then go into either insurance or windows, so when a job came up at the local Anglian office in Derby, I went for it and that how I started in the window industry.

I moved from there to a builders’ merchants, quickly earning a promotion to key account manager and eventually regional manager, running 18 branches across the East and West Midlands at the age of 31.

Q: When did you become part of the Frame Fast story?

NL: I started on 28 June 2004, working in external sales. About 10 years ago I was promoted to sales director and then a few years after I started performing the role of MD. Once Paul began to think about semi-retiring, we made it official that I would take over the day-to-day running of the company.

Q: How have things changed over the past 18 years?

NL: When I arrived, the end bay of our 30,000ft2 unit was not being used but we’ve certainly filled the building up since then. We’re now operating out of 50,000 ft2 and we could do with another 20,000-30,000 ft2 ideally.
Paul has always invested in the best machinery because he knew he’d get the highest quality, and that’s evolved into the state-of-the-art set up that we have now.

In the last two years alone, we’ve invested approximately £1.2m on two major machines, along with around £80,000 on another corner cleaner, and we’ll continue this ongoing investment to futureproof the business.

We’ve also carried out a lot of work on our computer systems and pricing, getting things right so we can go out to new build, and that side of the business has been absolutely phenomenal.

Frame Fast has always operated in the Derby and Derbyshire regions, but we’ve now expanded that range to 30-50 miles from our headquarters, meaning we can service an even larger area.

The great workforce we have here has enabled us to maintain steady natural growth over the years. A lot of our success has been down to staff retention, and we’ve always tended to keep an excellent base of employees, which I think is a credit to what we’ve built here.

Q: What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced?

NL: I’d have to say that Covid created the most difficult time I’ve experienced – hopefully we won’t experience anything like it again. I do believe that you have to look to the positives though, and the pandemic forced people to talk, it made companies communicate on a more regular basis, and that’s got to be a good thing.

Q: What’s the secret of Frame Fast’s success?

NL: Great leadership, of course! Seriously though, and Paul is too modest to take credit, but he’s been a fantastic mentor and there’s several things that he’s taught me over the years.

For instance, you’ll never hear a raised voice here. If there’s an issue, then we’ll sit around the table and have a discussion to find a solution. I think it’s things like that which are key to making sure that there’s equal respect for the whole team, from office staff, the factory floor, fitters and delivery drivers, and that’s a massive part of our philosophy here.

I’m sure that a big part of our success has been product and price-related – providing quality at the right cost – along with how we treat our customers. Making sure that each individual customer is given extra added value and receives outstanding service has always been paramount to us.

At the end of the day, we’ve got a great team of people here, working together towards a common goal, and that’s the Frame Fast frame of mind.

Frame Fast Ltd
  • Posts (12708)
Get In Touch
with Frame Fast Ltd